A fugitive Palestinian terrorist wanted by Israel was murdered in Bulgaria Friday morning, Palestinian media reported, in a killing some Palestinians have ascribed to the Jewish state, though Jerusalem denied involvement.YNet adds:
Omar Nayef Zayed, 51, was found dead in the yard of the Palestinian Embassy in Sofia. Bulgarian radio reported that he had fallen from the fourth floor.
A senior Palestinian Authority official said that Nayef “was discovered with serious torso injuries and died before emergency services arrived,” official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. PA officials said they were investigating the circumstances of his death.
Zayed, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) had been living in Bulgaria for the past 20 years. In 1986 he was convicted in the murder of yeshiva student Eliyahu Amedi — whom he stabbed to death in Jerusalem’s Old City — along with two other Palestinian assailants. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Four years after beginning his sentence, Zayed began a hunger strike and was moved to a Bethlehem hospital facility, from which he managed to escape. He fled to Bulgaria in 1994 and married a local woman with whom he had three children.
In December of 2015, Israel submitted a request to Bulgarian authorities to extradite him. Late last year Bulgarian authorities agreed to examine the Israeli request but a December 14 hearing was postponed because Nayef was not at his address, the Bulgarian interior ministry said.
He had fled to the Palestinian Embassy to seek sanctuary there, and had been staying there ever since.
Israel Radio quoted “a security source” as saying that “Israel has no interest in striking at an elderly terrorist, especially if it involves danger or committing resources.”
According to Palestinian sources, after receiving Israel's extradition request for Zayed, Bulgarian authorities sought to arrest him for 72 hours in order to deliberate on the request, but he escaped to the embassy before they could get to him.It seems unlikely that the Mossad did this, which means he was either killed by a Palestinian in the embassy or he committed suicide.
Bulgarian authorities then set Zayed an ultimatum to force him out of the embassy, but he refused. Meanwhile, Israel was holding a quiet dialogue with Sofia in an effort to bring the affair to an end.
Palestinian Ambassador to Bulgaria Ahmad Madbough set Zayed an ultimatum of his own, giving him 24 hours to turn himself in to Bulgarian authorities - to no avail.
Bulgarian news websites reported that at 7:35am Friday, emergency services received a call to the embassy for a man seeking urgent medical treatment after a "violent incident." Zayed, who was found at the embassy's outside garden with critical injuries to his upper body, was rushed to a local hospital in Sofia, where was declared dead.
The Palestinian deputy foreign minister, Tayseer Jaradat, said Zayed was not killed from the shooting in his direction, while PFLP claimed he was shot in the head. One of the reports in Bulgarian media claimed Zayed was pushed to his death from the fourth floor of the building. The Palestinian ambassador granted access to investigators.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned "in the strongest terms this heinous crime," and instructed a commission of inquiry to go to Bulgaria to uncover the circumstances of what happened.
While Abbas avoided pointing the finger at Israel, PFLP and the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club and former minister Issa Karaka, did blame Israel for Zayed's death.
It's safe to assume, however, that the Palestinian claim the Mossad is behind Zayed's death is baseless. Israel would not dare get entangled with an assassination after filing an official request for his extradition, and certainly not while Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is in Israel on a work trip, during which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.
Sources involved in the affair said "there is no connection to Israel." They claimed it was more likely that Zayed angered Palestinian or local authorities.
Israel's Foreign Ministry said in response: "Israel did ask for the extradition of Zayed, who is a fugitive, but we heard the news of his murder in the media."
Either way, this is awesome.
While he was holed up in the embassy, Palestinian organization Samidoun went all out to support the murderer. One of its leaders wrote an article in Electronic Intifada trying to argue that the murderer was a "political prisoner" and as such did not deserve to be incarcerated. After all, he only killed a Jew "settler" which isn't a crime according to them, but a heroic act.
There was a rally in front of the Bulgarian embassy in London calling for his release. Four people attended:
Another interesting tactic they used, that out side can learn from, was to project their demands on the side of the BBC building:
But in the end, the haters demanded "justice" for Zayed.
And that is exactly what they got.
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